For years now, whenever someone has invoked the spirit of the First Amendment to push back on censorship, we’ve been reminded by an army of smug Leftists that akshully it’s only a First Amendment violation if the government is the one doing the censoring. Facing the “consequences of your actions,” or of your opinions in the form of losing job prospects, advertisers, or even bank accounts, is just the free market at work, the Leftists say. And why not? Leftist advocacy groups like the ADL have perfected using these tactics against political opponents like Elon Musk, Ben Shapiro, and others. That is, when it isn’t the government secretly pulling the strings all along.
Frankly, I think it’s time they had a taste of their own medicine.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had to argue this. When I had to explain to Gary Johnson in a presidential debate that it was wrong to force Jews to bake cakes for Nazis, people often missed an important caveat to the moral lesson I was imparting there for free speech. While explaining why I thought that the Christian baker in the famed Masterpiece Cake case deserved the right to refuse service to gay couples, lost in the applause for my principled stand was my statement that I would encourage a boycott and start up the biggest, gayest cake shop next door to try to run them out of business. I’m not a Christian. Defending the private property and free association and religious liberty rights of people I disagree with is important to me. That doesn’t mean I support their decisions. And I support tactics that would undermine views that I don’t agree with. I supported boycotting Bud Light, in spirit of course since I would never drink such swill when Yuengling already exists.
That of course brings us back to the Harvard students and other institutions around the country that harbor professors and students who rally in support of terror orgs. We’ve already established it’s not a violation of the students’ First Amendment rights to deny them the ability to work at some of the most prestigious law firms or corporations around the country. Given how strenuously the students themselves probably insisted on that when gleefully trying to get their conservative peers blacklisted, are there any principles at all in play here? The closest thing you might suggest is that it might cause a chilling effect to the culture of free speech. Well baby, call me Mr. Freeze then because “I’m afraid my condition has left me cold to your pleas of mercy.”
The left’s moldy bumper sticker pleas to “Coexist” went right out the window with their toleration when it came time to stand in solidarity with those who cried, “Gas the Jews!” How fascinating that the “Punch a Nazi” crowd suddenly found themselves standing arm in arm with Muslim Hitlerites. Hey, wokies: You’re in a target rich environment! Isn’t it time to start punching?
Ramaswamy describes the students as “simple fools,” and claims his defense of their job prospects amounts to a “cultural position,” not a legal one. That infantilizes full grown adults, and if I may use another old-fashioned turn of phrase, lets the terrorists win. Vivek also contradicts himself to some degree in that he was more than happy to jump on the cancel culture bandwagon when it earned him accolades from the conservative news media. Why do leftist students get a free pass but blue-collar beer distributors have to suffer a boycott and lose their jobs? Vivek seems to be fine protecting his own class, while tossing those of us who aren’t privileged elites to the unemployment line.
People don’t change their minds or their behaviors until they actually suffer repercussions from their behaviors that forces them to reconsider the faultiness of their positions. You rarely logic someone out of a position that they didn’t logic themselves into. The Left’s “Repressive Tolerance” has put them in a vulnerable position and it’s one that we should exploit to the fullest degree until the war on actual free speech has been won, and the left acquiesces in the culture wars in such a way as to see domestic relations begin to warm. I would love to live in a world where free speech was as widely embraced as it was 10 or even 15 years ago, but we don’t live in that world, and that’s due entirely to the Left’s choice to turn emotional incontinence into a negotiating tactic. They created cancel culture, and now we have to force them to dismantle it. I say we ratchet up the pressure on these students, and the professors who enable them. Target them personally for ridicule, scorn, and deplatforming to the fullest extent possible until they cry out for truce. People may call me cold hearted, and that’s fine. The iceman cometh. For once, it’s time chilling effects on speech melted some snowflakes.